For over two decades we have observed thousands of people spending their money in very haphazard ways. One of our clients was a physician earning over $600,000 a year. By the time he turned to the Money Mastery program for help he was filing bankruptcy for the third time. Contrast his story with a 28-year-old high school teacher who was earning only $21,000 annually but who was able to save $3,000 per year and only had a $50,000 mortgage on his home.
Over many years of analyzing different client incomes, we have found that someone earning, for example, between $200,000 and $400,000 per year doesn’t have any better “quality of life” than someone earning $35,000. These higher income people obviously have better cars, clothing and food, but they don’t necessarily have a better and more secure future to look forward to or better marriages and happier families. Children of these wealthy people often do not even hold their parents in high regard because they have been given everything their whole lives and do not appreciate their parents’ sacrifices.
Consider the man and his wife who stretched their income to purchase an expensive home. After 25 years of paying more for property taxes, more for higher homeowners’ insurance, and more for mortgage payments, they determined that they could not save or invest any of their income. In order to retire, they sold their home and moved into a small condominium. Did the larger, more expensive house give them a better life? Did being stressed out over higher costs for the 25 years bring them more happiness?
Did paying $300,000 more in interest expense create better behavior in their children and a more loving atmosphere in the family?
The Secret Principle…
To build a happy family and a more secure financial future, remember this: It matters not how much you make, only what you do with your money that counts.
The key to success is to:
- Forecast your spending before you get paid using a spending plan.
- Track expenditures (using a phone app or some other convenient, point-of-purchase recording tool).
- Compare your actual expenses with your forecast.
- Hold weekly meetings with yourself, or your spouse if you are married.
- Practice instant forgiveness when you or spouse overspend.
What’s It Worth?
By implementing these secrets, you will likely save over $100,000 in interest expense alone. Even more importantly, you can save your personal relationships.